Change to orthopaedic surgery reporting

22 Sep 2016 | Infection Prevention & Control

The Health Quality & Safety Commission will stop reporting skin antisepsis preparation as a quality and safety marker (QSM) for orthopaedic surgery. Reporting on skin antisepsis preparation will continue for cardiac surgery. 

The Commission’s March 2017 QSM report, for the July–September 2016 period, will be the first report that does not include skin preparation compliance for orthopaedic surgery. The delay in reporting is due to the 90-day follow up period for SSIs and the time allowed for DHBs to finalise their data.

The skin preparation QSM was introduced in February 2014 as part of a bundle of interventions to reduce orthopaedic surgical site infections (SSIs). Compliance with this QSM was set at 100 percent. Consistent practice has been achieved and national compliance has above 99 percent since January 2015. Most DHBs now achieve 100 percent compliance for orthopaedic surgery.

Using an alcohol-based skin preparation agent is a simple and effective method of preventing SSIs and is still an important intervention for the Commission’s SSI improvement programme. We encourage DHBs to continue to collect skin preparation data for hip and knee surgery for local quality improvement and quality assurance activities. Data collection and reporting on skin antisepsis preparation as a QSM will continue for cardiac procedures.

For more information please email Andrea Flynn, project manager for the infection prevention and control programme.

Last updated 22/09/2016